By Kenneth Kwama
The process of picking a new managing trustee for the National Social Security Fund ( NSSF) could be delayed by the intense struggle in the board and by politicians keen to control the multi-billion Fund.
The deadline for applications elapsed April 27, but the Fund’s board is yet to conduct interviews for the post amid claims its members have divided loyalties as key presidential contenders waddle in to push through candidates deemed sympathetic to them.
Over 30 candidates applied for the job, but only seven made the shortlist. Those short listed include Acting Managing Trustee Tom Odongo, Peter Wamoto, consular at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva and Local Authorities Pension fund ( LAPTRUST) Managing Trustee Hosea Kili.
Former KRA Commissioner of Customs Services Wambui Namu, former General Manager in charge of Operations at NSSF Simon Peter Ole Nkeri, the Fund’s General Manager in charge of Strategy, Research and Development Joseph Kimote and Abubakar Mohamed, a banker completed the list.
Among the names that have been mentioned in relation to the job include that of Barclays Bank Managing Director Adan Mohamed and suspended National Hospital Insurance Fund Chief Executive Joseph Kerich, but both did not apply.
Apart from Abubakar, all the short-listed candidates are believed to enjoy weighty support from within the NSSF board or key presidential contenders.
A source privy to the process, but who requested not to be named told Business Weekly that after unsuccessfully trying to woo his namesake from Barclays to apply for the post, board Chairman Adan Mohamed has shifted allegiance to the acting Managing Trustee Mr Odongo.
Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and Labour PS Beatrice Kituyi who both sit on the board are said to be rooting for Geneva-based Wamoto.
Namu and Kili reportedly enjoy the backing of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, respectively while Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti are keen to see Kimote and Ole Nkeri, respectively bag the job.
The political undercurrent is said to have polarised the board to the extent that it failed to discuss it at a meeting that had been scheduled a fortnight after the deadline for applications.